Tobacco-Free for a Healthy New Jersey

Tobacco-Free for a Healthy New Jersey community partners have been busy conducting point of sale audits throughout the eight counties of the northern region. Tobacco advertising and product exposure has the potential to affect people of all ages.  The young who begin to see tobacco as common and benign in the marketplace as milk and bread, the adult smoker who is cued to consume more, the        ex-smoker tempted to relapse and resume smoking are all affected.  Conducting point of sales audits helps to assess the impact of tobacco advertising and product exposure throughout the region and can in turn guide policies that will reduce their harmful effects. Point of sale strategies enhance state and local tobacco control efforts by reducing exposure.  Point of sale policy options include raising the minimum legal age of sale to buy tobacco products to the age of 21, regulating the sale of e-cigarettes and other nicotine delivery systems and implementing content-neutral advertising laws. Collaborative efforts from the Chronic Disease Coalitions and Regional Substance Abuse Coalitions have partnered throughout the northern region with Tobacco-Free for a Healthy NJ to gather important information with regard to tobacco advertising and product exposure that will help guide Tobacco-Free for a Healthy NJ initiatives throughout 2017. In addition to gathering information, the audits also provided opportunities to educate retailers.   During the audits, Look See Check Id brochures were given to merchants to help them comply with the Age of Sale 19 law and to keep the youth of their communities safe by limiting their exposure to tobacco products before the age of 19.  The point of sale audits also provided an opportunity for further collaboration between Prevention Coalitions and Chronic Disease Coalitions as coalition members teamed up together to complete POS audits throughout Northern NJ.  Another newly formed collaboration resulted in Registered Environmental Health Specialists in Sussex and Warren County conducting audits throughout both counties and delivering merchant education materials as well.  Point of sale audits have provided useful information to guide Tobacco-Free for a Healthy New Jersey initiatives and policy options as well as provided many opportunities for successful collaboration between partners throughout the northern region. Elise McGaughran Northern Regional Coordinator Tobacco-Free for a Healthy New Jersey Center for Prevention and Counseling